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Returning Students

You have had the winter, summer, semester, or year of your life, but now it’s time to head back home. In the whirlwind of last-minute things you need to do before you get on the plane, keep in mind the following steps you should take prior to coming home.

 

Administrative Issues

Order a copy of your transcript for the UMBC Office of International Education Services.  Universities do not automatically send your transcript to UMBC; many times you must request that they do so.

Ask that an official copy of your work be sent to the following address:

Brian V. Souders
International Education Services
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
222 Administration Building
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250 USA

Order as many transcripts as you think you will need for later graduate school applications.  It is always much easier to order a transcript in person than to try to order one from overseas. If you plan to attend graduate school, law school or medical school down the line, ask that several copies of your transcript be sent to your permanent address in signed, sealed envelopes.

When the Study Abroad Office receives your official transcript from your host university, we translate your international credits and grades into US credits and grades by means of a Credit Recommendation Form. This form will be submitted to the UMBC Registrar with your original international transcript and your Verification of Transferability form. It will take approximately four to six weeks for your credits to appear on your UMBC transcript once our office receives your transcript.

Make certain that you have paid all of your bills at your host university.  You alone are responsible for making sure that you have paid your housing bills, your power bills, your phone bills and any other bills to your host university before you depart. UMBC does not tolerate its students leaving unpaid balances at their host institutions, and can cancel your registration for subsequent semesters or prevent your graduation if you leave substantial bills at your host institution. We have done so in the past and will do so in the future at a host university’s request.

Make certain your luggage does not weigh too much before you go to the airport.  Check with your airline’s luggage restrictions. You will be stunned at how much more your bags weigh now that you are bringing home four months worth of souvenirs. Send excess bulky items home via surface mail, as it is FAR cheaper than the fines airlines charge to allow you to bring excess or overweight baggage on board.

Register for classes back at UMBC before you leave your host university.  Almost everyone can now register on-line through MyUMBC for classes.  If you have any problems with registering while you are overseas, contact the UMBC Registrar.

Leave a forwarding address.  Many universities will send your mail back to the States after you leave.

 

Re-Entry into the United States

Upon your flight home to the U.S., you will be given a customs form for declaring any items you are bringing into the country with you. Even if you are not declaring anything, you must complete the identification portion of the customs form. Duty regulations place limits on the dollar amount of duty free goods you may bring back to the U.S. If you do not exceed the duty-free limitation, you need only declare the total value of the goods accompanying you. If you surpass the limitation then you must fill out a written declaration form listing everything acquired abroad that you bring home and the price paid. All items included on your declaration form must accompany you. Remember that “duty free” only means that you did not pay local taxes in the country of purchase. Also, prices in the duty-free shops may be higher than those in other stores.

Articles prohibited from being brought into the United States:

  • Certain meats or cheeses and fresh fruit
  • Agricultural products
  • Books, tapes, and CDs violating copyright laws
  • Endangered species and their by-products
  • Hazardous articles and substances (narcotics and dangerous drugs, toxic substances)
  • Lottery tickets
  • Obscene articles and publications

The booklet Customs Hints for Returning U.S. Residents – Know Before You Go is available from the Department of Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, P.O. Box 7407, Washington, DC  20044. Note that U.S. customs regulations can change at any time.